Addis Abeba, September 2018 – The number of civilians killed in in Burayu in a spate of day & night organized attacks has reached at least twenty three according to the Oromia region police commission Commissioner General Alemayehu Ejigu. The number could increase, he said.
The attacks, which happened in several places in and around Burayu, 19 Km west of Addis Abeba in the Oromia Special Zone Surrounding Addis Abeba, have in most parts started on Friday; others say the first signs have began emerging on Thursday. However, a full scale attack that lasted for hours on Saturday to Sunday night had seen many brutally killed, maimed and displaced. It also included “organized robbery”, according to Abaynesh, who is separated from her three children (one of whom only four years old). Speaking to Addis Standard, Abaynesh said she left her house on Friday in search of safety after attackers have “invaded our neighborhood.”
The police commissioner general also said 200 people suspected of organizing the violence were detained. But questions linger. Many of the victims who were sheltered inside Philipos school in Kolfe in Addis Abeba, said their repeated calls for the police went unanswered. “I can say that the local government has done nothing to protect civilians,” said one survivor who wants to remain anonymous. “It could have been prevented from day one if the police had intervened when the first stone was thrown. Burayu police failed the Dorzes,” he said mentioning one of the many minority ethnic groups who were targeted in the attack. Othe ethnic groups includes Gamos, Wolayitas, Guraghes & Siltes. The attacks are also not perpetrated by one or two groups. “We have seen many cars with plate number initials from Addis Abeba and Oromia that were used to loot properties and drop off perpetrators.” As of now, there is little detail coming from authorities about the perptrators other than saying about 200 were detained. the area remained inaccessible with no to little transportation going since yesterday. However, a large number of military personnel were seen headed toward the area yesterday.